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Empire: Total War - Land Battle Discussion
Moderated by Pitt, Awesome Eagle

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Topic Subject: Bayonet Effect on Unit Stats
posted 02-24-12 09:46 AM EDT (US)   
Question: Do the different styles of bayonets available in ETW actually improve or in any way affect unit stats?

In my experience, they do not. Standard Line Infantry unit stats for melee do not seem to improve after plug bayonets are made available, nor do they once ring or socket bayonets are available. The New Model Bayonet Drill technology does list a +3 charge bonus to bayonet-equipped units, but this appears to be the only bayonet-related technology that actually gives units an improvement to their melee statistics.

I don't have Empire quite figured out in this regard. Does the presence of bayonets affect unit performance on the battlefield while not changing melee stats on the unit cards? I could see this being the case if, say, soldiers from a unit with bayonets are given some new form of animation on the battlefield while in melee, which improves melee effectiveness. How could this be proven, if so? Does the presence of bayonets improve unit resistance to cavalry charges? In theory, they would, but again if the unit card does not reflect improved stats how can this be proven?

I also wonder about whether perhaps existing regiments of infantry are not equipped with the latest bayonet technology until they are re-trained. I would doubt this but have thus far not proven nor disproven it. Another potential issue could be that unit cards on the campaign map do not reflect bayonet upgrades in melee statistics, but that those same unit cards when reviewed on the battle map would, similar to experience upgrades.

In summary, I would like feedback on this topic so I can better plan my tech research in my campaigns. Thus far, varying by country, I have attributed far more importance to obtaining canister shot (Notably GB, France, and Sweden, but this is often my first tech regardless of campaign), the first and second level farming techs (Russia), and the first several enlightenment techs which unlock the ability to build colleges and upgrade ports and plantations (UP, Spain, France). You will notice that plug bayonet is not listed here. Thus far I have only seen benefits in researching the bayonet techs as a means to either obtain access to more advanced military techs such as Fire by Rank, or to unlock the ability to build advanced barracks. Aside from a means to the above-mentioned end, the bayonet techs do not seem to be incredibly useful.

I welcome any insight on this topic and specifically any reports of experimentation done to prove or disprove bayonet effectiveness.
posted 02-25-12 04:36 PM EDT (US)     1 / 3  
I donít see the stats on the card ever change. I presume that weíre supposed to know the effects of things like experience and new technology and do the math ourselves. Thatís another thing Iíd like to fix with Empire. Tell me what this unit under my cursor is capable of doing, please. Tell me what the stats for my line infantry now that I have the new bayonet drill are. I donít care what the vanilla line infantry can do. I want to know what the next unit I recruit can do; I want to know what my line infantry with two chevrons can do.

Anecdotally, I have noticed a difference on the battlefield now that my line infantry is using the socket bayonet instead of the ring bayonet. I kept five regiments of pike for use against the First Nations in the Americas; now Iím going to get rid of them as soon as I can feasibly replace them. My line infantry does just as good a job against the First Nations as the pikes, and the line infantry is far more flexible.

On a side note, I almost feel badly when I beat the stuffing out of a unit of armed tribesmen with a regiment of colonial line infantry that has fire by rank and socket bayonet. Fast as the armed tribesman are, my infantry gets off two volleys before the enemy closes for melee. Two volleys is worth 20-25 of the enemyís rabble. Itís very impressive. In close combat, the line infantry trades losses at a rate of 5-to-1 or better even before the enemy routs. Granted, this is how itís supposed to be. On a battle setting of VH, though, very little goes the way itís supposed to go until this point in the game. Iím also very appreciative that slaughtering armed peasants is just as beneficial to the experience of my infantry as slugging it out with enemy line infantry.

The musket is for fixing and softening the enemy. The bayonet is for destroying him.
posted 02-28-12 06:52 AM EDT (US)     2 / 3  
For some reason, improved fighting ability doesn't show up when you check stats on the campaign map. If you want to see the actual stats you have to check them during a battle.

"Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French." - P.G. Wodehouse, The Luck of the Bodkins
posted 03-05-12 12:19 PM EDT (US)     3 / 3  
I only very recently discovered this to be so, Pitt. Why the game creators set it up this way is beyond me...under normal circumstances, the thought to select one of my own unit cards on the battle map to view a unit's stats would never cross my mind. ACTUAL unit stats (defined as base stats + any changes due to technology upgrades or experience) should be displayed on the campaign map, where one sets in motion all plans which will later result in engagements.

As an update of sorts to my original post, I have found that naval tech upgrades do indeed affect naval unit stats when checked on the unit card on the battle map. In my current campaign I recently completed research on the Coppering tech which grants a 10% increase to the top speed of naval units. After obtaining the tech, I found that my naval unit cards on the campaign map showed no change in speed capability, but when checked in battle all unit speed numbers were increased by 10% of the original value. Example - the default speed of a 5th Rate is 17, while that of a Brig is 22. After completing the coppering tech, the unit cards on the campaign map showed no change. However, when checked on the battle map, my 5th Rate's unit stats displayed a unit speed of 18, while my Brig's unit stats displayed a unit speed of 24. This appears to indicate that the tech increase is indeed factored in on the battle map unit stats, although the 10% increase in this case appears to round down to the nearest whole number, as evidenced by the move from a speed of 17 to 18 for my 5th Rate, but a move from 22 to 24 for the speed of my Brig. Overall, this is an encouraging find... perhaps land battle techs also increase stats displayed on unit cards on the battle map.

In my current campaign I will complete research on the plug bayonet tech soon, I will update again with my findings in that regard. In the meantime, I have also obtained a much more definitive understanding of the effects of unit experience on unit stats, and will tally these findings in a new post soon.
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